Photo by Hannah Kaminsky
About 16 years ago, before I was a chef, I received a call from a local composer asking if I would be a soloist in a piece he was composing, to be read by the Oakland Symphony. The score arrived a week later, and the text was written by David “Mas” Masumoto, who I had recently heard on a radio interview. It was about peaches and Japanese-American identity, and it was perhaps more captivating than the music itself. At the first rehearsal, I met him in person.
After becoming a chef, I started working with Mas’ amazing peaches. A yearly peach menu for my underground restaurant series turned into a yearly series that had 13 different menus last year! If every fruit and vegetable had a family farm dedicated to producing the highest quality of that ingredient, we’d have a much better planet. Small organic farms like Masumoto’s are the antithesis of factory-farmed product that most Americans are used to. It’s food grown with flavor, texture, and nutrition with workers who are paid a fair wage and treated well, rather than grown to travel long distances and sit on shelves. You can easily taste the difference!
Later this month, Chef Eric Tucker and I are headed to Masumoto’s farm to harvest from two trees reserved for us: an Elberta peach tree and a Le Grande nectarine tree. Stay tuned for mean peach menus in late July and early August!
Philip Gelb of Sound and Savor is a vegan chef, culinary instructor, and cookbook author from Oakland.
Spiced Peach Vegan Ice Cream
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 clove
- 5 allspice berries
- 5 peaches*
- 1 tablespoon Dram (allspice liquor)
*Masumoto Farms peaches preferred!
- Blanch, peel, and pit peaches. Blend on high until pureed.
- To make the spiced simple syrup: add water, sugar, and spices to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and strain.
- Blend the simple syrup with the cashews until completely smooth.
- Add peach puree to cashew-syrup mixture and blend until combined.
- Add the Dram to the puree and mix well.
- Freeze ice cream base according to the directions on your ice cream maker.
Check Chef Phillip’s onion-poppyseed bialy recipe!